I know that the hardest part for every newbie vegan is eating out at a restaurant. You might be overwhelmed and will just end up eating at home in fear of not finding vegan food. I know it can be quite a challenge to find fully vegan restaurants, but you really don’t need to dine in fancy vegan places, because you will see that you have plenty of possibilities in any restaurant you go to.
Here are a few tips that might be helpful to you:
- One thing that I regularly do is when I know that I am going to a restaurant I will check their online menu beforehand, so by the time I get there I know exactly what my options are and I can focus on socializing and not wrack my brain over the menu
- Don’t be snobbish or picky, it will just be a confirmation for the people around you that eating vegan is difficult…and nobody wants to sit next to someone who is constantly nagging
- Be confident about your choice and just ask for what you want. Don’t be shy modifying or customizing existing dishes, most places will be happy to cater for you. In the end you are still the client and they will probably not send you away with an empty stomach (as long as you are going to pay)
- Drop the one million dollar question: ‘Can you offer something vegan?’ You won’t believe it, but just asking this simple question made me eat the most wonderful dishes that weren’t even on the menu! (That jealous faces though)
- When you go to a fiends’ house: Bring a vegan dish to share! You’ll have something to eat and the others will see that eating vegan can be very tasty (just make sure to make a huge batch or you’ll end up starving as they will most probably love your dish and eat it in just a sec)
When you go to restaurants offering specific cuisines this might be helpful as well:
Little did I know that most traditional Asian cuisines are actually very low in animal products (they just load it up to please our western palate). Most of the time dishes are vegetarian and can be easily made vegan. So go for heaps of rice (carb the fuck up!), veggie curries, tofu, steamed veggies, vegetarian dim sums and dumplings. If you’re having sushi, opt for the vegetarian options with cucumber, avocado, radish, mango, asparagus and ask for a no mayo version.
This one is easy! Veggie pizza without the cheese (really who wants pus on their pizza?). Veggie and tomato based pasta dishes without cheese. Most antipasti (and bread) are vegan too, they are just somewhat more heavy on the fats.
Veggie burrito (or burrito bowl Chipotle-Style) without the cheese. Or Chilli sin carne. Omnomnom.
Most places have a veggie burger, just ask to leave out the cheese and switch the mayo for ketchup.
Falafel kebab/durum without yoghurt sauce but with loads of hummus. Yumm!
So this is the trickiest one in my eyes. What I do most of the time is order a big salad (without the dressing) and get ALL of their vegan sides like potatoes, rice, raw and cooked veggies and mix it all up together.
You see eating out as a vegan isn’t really that hard. Of course it is always nicer to go a place that is all vegan, but most of the time this will probably not happen. However if you have the choice and you can go to a vegan/vegetarian place make sure to use the app Happy Cow, it will make things so much easier, especially when you’re travelling.